3 ways to listen to Audible audiobooks without a membership

3 ways to listen to Audible audiobooks without a membership

I’ve been an Audible member for several years now. I’m a devoted fan and use the service heavily. But I thought really hard about not renewing my membership when the time just came around. I’m listening to audiobooks all the time, but I’m not using my member credits.

(A credit is basically one book, but I explain more about how Audible works here.)

Back to those credits I’m not using: it’s not because I’m not listening to audiobooks; I’m listening to tons. But I’m also finding piles of dirt cheap deals through the following methods, and I’m scooping those up instead of spending my precious credits on them. As a result, my queue is pleasantly full, even while I have many, many credits in the metaphorical bank.

Today I’m sharing three ways (well, four if you’re new to Audible) you can save big on Audible audiobooks—without a membership.

Free trial

If you’re new to Audible, you qualify for a free thirty-day trial and two free audiobooks. Take advantage of it!

Pro tip: for your trial books, get what you want to listen to. No aspirational picks; no trying to please your kids or carpool buddy. If you’re not excited, you won’t listen—especially if you’re new to audiobooks.

If you’ve never tried Audible, sign up for a free trial here. (That means: two free audiobooks, plus access to all member benefits during the trial period, which means discounts on a la carte purchases and access to the occasional Audible big sales.)

Daily deals

I’ve found all kinds of great prices while compiling the Modern Mrs Darcy daily kindle deals emails—some Whispersync; some deal of the day. (I always share Whispersync prices and terrific deals of the day in that daily email. If you’re not on the list, sign up here.)

Because you do not need an Audible membership to purchase the deal of the day, this is a terrific way to try the service. If you have a membership, you can scoop up extra books for cheaper than the price of your credits.

If I think a Daily Deal will appeal to Modern Mrs Darcy readers, I include it in the Great Kindle Deals daily email, every time. (View the page here; that’s also where you can sign up to get the MMD deals delivered to your inbox each morning.)

Here’s a taste of the best books available as daily deals recently, with their sale prices. (Please note that the listed sale prices are no longer available! I’m just giving you a feel for what things cost, so you can get a rough idea of how much it would cost to keep you in audiobooks for a good long while.)

The Unseen World by Liz Moore ($4.95)
What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan ($3.95)
Good as Gone by Amy Gentry ($2.95)
The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester ($3.95)
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett ($3.95)
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah ($4.95)
10% Happier by Dan Harris ($4.95)

Whispersync deals

Whispersync for Kindle allows you to switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the audio version without losing your place, if you own both.

For today’s purposes, here’s what you need to know: sometimes it’s cheaper to buy the ebook PLUS the audiobook than it is to buy the audiobook alone. Way, way cheaper.

Not all books are available for Whispersync. And many times, it costs $12.99 to add Audible narration to your ebook purchase. But sometimes, it only costs a dollar or two. Compared to off-the-rack audiobook prices, or even the cost of Audible member credits, $1.00 for a top-notch audiobook is a steal.

If you own the ebook, you can buy the whispersync narration at any time. Even if you got the ebook for free. This means it can be an AMAZING value to listen to the classics on audible, because you can often get the ebook for free or very, very inexpensively (thank you, public domain), and then add the Whispersync narration if it’s inexpensive. And it’s often inexpensive.

Note: We always share current Whispersync pricing for all books in the daily Great Kindle Deals email.

An example of classics you can get inexpensively, buy buying the free or inexpensive ebook and adding the Audible narration. I’ve linked to the ebook below, and included the current price of the Audible narration. (Note this price only applies to the Whispersync add-on; it will cost you full fare if you buy the audiobook only. More details about how Whispersync works here.)

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy; companion audiobook is narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal. ($1.99)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott; companion audiobook is narrated by Andrea Emmes. ($0.99)
• Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery; companion audiobook is narrated by Rachel McAdams. ($1.99)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens; companion audiobook is narrated by Simon Vance. ($.99)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë; companion audiobook narrated by Thandie Newton. ($1.99)
Emma by Jane Austen; companion audiobook narrated by Juliet Stevenson. ($.99)
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas; companion audiobook narrated by Bill Homewood. 4.7 star rating! ($2.99)

Whispersync prices for contemporary fiction are also plentiful. Budget-wise, the easiest way to save is to snatch these up if/when the ebook goes on sale, and those sales are time-sensitive. For a full list of my favorites available today, visit the Great Kindle Deals page, updated daily, to see current offerings. The Whispersync options are always clearly marked.

All these deals do change periodically. Check prices before buying!

Amazon Prime

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can stream a selection of 40+ topselling audiobooks, including Cold Sassy TreeEverything I Never Told YouThe Good Girl, and H Is for Hawk, for FREE.

I share all the details on Audible Channels in this post.

Dear readers, I hope this post helps you get a little more out of your reading life, and save you money while doing it.

Got a great audiobook tip? I’d love to hear all about it in comments. 

how to save on audiobooks

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55 comments

    • Anne says:

      Nope. Audible is an audiobook provider; Whispersync is the audio service that lets you seamlessly switch between the audio and kindle versions of books.

  1. Amama Jones says:

    My local libraries use OverDrive and cloudLibrary. You get them for a couple weeks and can renew them if no one else has placed a hold on the same book. I actually belong to a couple of local library systems so I can put holds on popular books and see which one is available first!!

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